In a recent article by The Law Society Gazette, Leigh Crestohl, Partner at Zaiwalla & Co, shared his expert insights on a complex and highly unusual legal case. The article, titled "Arbitrator jail sentence and ban raises questions in ‘highly unusual’ case," details the intricacies of a case involving Dr. Gonzalo Stampa, an arbitrator sentenced to prison for contempt of court.
Leigh Crestohl highlighted the need for arbitrators to be acutely aware of potential risks and breaches of process. He emphasised the complexities of the case, which involved the jailing of Stampa for knowingly disobeying rulings and orders from the Madrid High Court of Justice. This case, centred around an international contract dispute against the government of Malaysia, raises significant questions about the arbitration process and the role of litigation funders in such high-stakes scenarios.
Crestohl pointed out the rarity of changing seats during arbitration and the use of criminal law as a remedy to address perceived sham cases. His comments underscore the importance of vigilance and due diligence in the arbitration process, especially in cases with potential state or court interference.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the challenges and responsibilities faced by arbitrators and litigation funders in the complex world of international arbitration. Leigh Crestohl's insights provide a valuable perspective on these challenges, emphasising the need for careful consideration and adherence to legal and ethical standards.